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Saudi foreign minister denies MBS ordered or knew of Khashoggi’s death

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Saudi Arabia's Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir
Saudi
Arabia’s Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir speaks to Fox News’ Bret
Baier on Sunday, October 21, 2018.


Fox
News



  • On Sunday, the Saudi foreign minister denied Crown Prince
    Mohammed bin Salman knew of Jamal Khashoggi‘s death
    before it occurred in the Saudi consulate in Turkey on October
    2.
  • Saudi Arabia said Saturday that Khashoggi died after a
    fistfight escalated inside the consulate, but many international
    leaders were skeptical of that explanation.
  • US President Donald Trump, who has been reluctant to punish
    Saudi Arabia for its suspected hand in the Washington Post
    columnist’s death, said Saturday that “obviously there’s been
    deception, and there’s been lies” in the Kingdom’s response to
    the incident.

Saudi Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir denied that his powerful
Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman had anything to do with Saudi
critic Jamal Khashoggi’s death, and doubled down on the claim
that a “rogue operation” was responsible.

On Saturday, Saudi Arabia claimed Khashoggi died after a
“fistfight” escalated inside the Saudi consulate in Turkey,
contradicting the accusation from officials in Istanbul that the
Washington Post columnist was brutally tortured and dismembered.

Speaking to Fox News’ Bret Baier
on Sunday
, Al-Jubeir said the kingdom was investigating, had
arrested 18 suspects, and had fired intelligence officials.

“The crown prince has denied this, the crown prince was not aware
of this — even the senior leadership of our intelligence service
was not aware of this,” he said.

The foreign minister continued: “This was an operation that was a
rogue operation. This was an operation where individuals ended up
exceeding the authorities and responsibilities they had. They
made a mistake when they killed Jamal Khashoggi in the consulate,
and they tried to cover up for it.”

Al-Jubeir offered his condolences to Khashoggi’s family and said
he wanted to “make sure those who are responsible are punished.”

Khashoggi had entered the
consulate on October 2
to get paperwork to marry his fiance,
Hatice Cengiz, and never came out. Disturbing accounts from
Turkish media immediately started circulating as Saudi officials
said Khashoggi had left the consulate, a story that has changed
over time.

A senior Saudi official anonymously
told Reuters
on Sunday that operatives at the consulate
“tried to prevent him from shouting but he died. The intention
was not to kill him.”

The official said the team rolled up Khashoggi’s body in a rug
and gave it to a “local cooperator” to dispose of, then attempted
to remove traces of the incident from the consulate, according to
Reuters.

Trump remains reluctant to retaliate


donald trump nevada
US President Donald Trump said he’ll be working with
Congress on how to respond to Saudi Arabia in Khashoggi’s
death.

AP Photo

While a growing bipartisan chorus of senators have called for the
US to retaliate against Saudi Arabia’s alleged involvement in
Khashoggi’s death, President Donald Trump has been reluctant to
commit to sanctions or other such punishments.

Trump said Saturday that he wasn’t satisfied with Saudi Arabia’s
latest response, and again said canceling a $110 billion arms
deal with the country would hurt the US “far more than it hurts
them.”

“Saudi Arabia has been a great ally. But what happened is
unacceptable. We are going to see,” he said, adding that the
arrests were “a big first step. It’s only a first step, but it’s
a big first step.”

The president was more critical in an interview with the Washington
Post
later on Saturday, saying that in Saudi Arabia’s
explanation for Khashoggi’s death, “obviously there’s been
deception, and there’s been lies.”

“Nobody has told me he’s responsible,” Trump told the Post,
referring to Crown Prince Mohammed. “Nobody has told me he’s not
responsible. We haven’t reached that point … I would love if he
wasn’t responsible.”

Republican Sen. Bob Corker took a different view on the crown
prince.

“Do I think he did it? Yes, I think he did it,” Corker, chairman
of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said on CNN’s “State of the Union”
Sunday
. But he said he sees Trump evolving in a positive
direction on the issue.

For now, the US, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey are continuing their
investigations into Khashoggi’s death before Trump or the US
Senate decide on any retaliatory measures against the Kingdom.

Watch Fox News’ interview with the Saudi foreign minister below:

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